Pro-gun YouTuber arrested in Brevard County for wiretapping, Titusville police say

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 2 weeks ago

Oooo … sounds awful, yes?  Wiretapping?  Arrested?  Oooo …

A YouTube creator known for posting pro-gun videos faces charges in Brevard County after police say he illegally recorded a phone conversation with the county parks and recreation operations manager.

Michael Taylor, 41, was booked into the Brevard County jail early Thursday morning.

According to investigators, Taylor post videos on his two YouTube pages, Soloyaker and The Armed Fisherman, where he conducts “First Amendment and Second Amendment Audits” around the state — which entails him open carrying a gun and a fishing pole and then filming the response from police.

According to Titusville Police, Taylor was recently asked to leave Parrish Park along A. Max Brewer Memorial Parkway, where he was “fishing” with a rifle. Police included the quotes around the word fishing in their report.

Officers said the man then made multiple calls to the police department and the county parks and recreation department. Police said, during one of these calls Taylor recorded the conversation he had with Jeff Davis, the operations manager for Brevard County Parks and Recreation.

The conversation was included in a video uploaded March 3 on The Armed Fisherman YouTube page titled “Someone is Lying!!! Titusville PD O Board OF Commissioners Or Is It Conspiracy,” according to an affidavit for an arrest warrant.

Police said Davis was never informed that he was being recorded and did not give permission for the call to be recorded. Florida law requires that both parties consent for a conversation to be recorded.

The First Amendment does allow for individuals to record public officials in the course of their duties while they are in public — such as recording a police officer during an arrest — and sometimes in private settings. However, News 6 legal expert Steve Kramer said that Florida’s two-party consent law doesn’t allow an individual to record a private phone call with a public official without their consent, even if that public official is on the job at the time of the recording.

And before you jump to conclusions, the comments point out that “In general, courts have concluded that employees do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy while they are at work. See Jatar v. Lamaletto, 758 So.2d 1167, 1169 (Fla. 3d DCA 2000).”  And another user writes “Glik v. Cunniffe, 655 F.3d 78 (1st Cir. 2011).  Public employees can be recorded. I guess Brevard County wants to find that out the hard way, which will likely also be the expensive way.”  And finally there is this.  “Hey I believe the 2 party consent does not apply to public officials, especially if the public official is on the clock (which I believe was the case), as they are paid by the public they loose their expectation of privacy when in the course of their duties, very similar to being able to record police.”

As should be the case.  There should be no stipulation for permission to catch a public employee in the act of lying.

I have watched his videos before, and even linked or embedded a few of them.  He does good work.  Drop by and give him a thumbs up for his hard work.  He is a patriot doing the things necessary for liberty.  Florida, for all the good DeSantis is doing, is too much a collectivist state for my tastes.

There is no reason to deny Floridians open carry.  The governor should make this a focus.  If he did, the issue would be gone in a flash.


Comments

  1. On March 30, 2021 at 7:23 am, Nosmo said:

    Florida Officialdom has opposed open carry because of fears it may “scare the white people,” specifically tourists (who, actually, come in the full spectrum of all the human colors, but often from places where citizen-owned guns are either rare or forbidden) because tourism is one of the very large rocks on which the Florida economy’s foundation is built. “It will impact tourism” is the shibboleth driving much, if not most, of all levels of governmental action in Florida.

    In the years since state-approved concealed carry began in Florida (1988, following enacting the law changes in 1987) open carry has been “a thing.” Because open carry is prohibited in Florida, and the local branches of the Geheime Staatspolizei enjoy enforcing laws so much, arrests for display of a firearm as a violation of the prohibition of the open carry law became somewhat common, even perhaps especially in those cases involving very brief, unintentional and inadvertent display of a firearm or even the shape of a firearm “printing” through cover clothing.

    A stink was raised – actually, it had been raised for quite some time and was not going away – so in an attempt to quell the unrest the Florida legislature added language to 790.053 regarding display of a firearm, to wit:

    ” It is not a violation of this section for a person licensed to carry a concealed firearm as provided in s. 790.06(1), and who is lawfully carrying a firearm in a concealed manner, to briefly and openly display the firearm to the ordinary sight of another person, unless the firearm is intentionally displayed in an angry or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense.”

    Despite enacting this “fix” the arrests continued. Orlando attorney Jon Gutmacher, who publishes bi-annually “Florida Firearms Law,” the “consumer’s bible” on gun law in Florida, counseled that, despite the legislature-enacted change to 790.053, one must ensure no firearm ever be displayed, even partially, however inadvertently or briefly, because should it be seen by an LEO the gun owner was headed to court via the local jail.

    On any given day there are between 750,000 and 1,200,000 tourists in Florida (those are pre-COVID numbers) and each of them spends money, money vital to Florida’s economy.

    On the other hand, Florida has almost 21,000,000 legal residents who are the economy – they pay rent and mortgages, buy groceries and gasoline, send their kids to schools paid for with their taxes, and so on; over 2,000,000 of them have Florida-issued concealed weapon permits. It’s long past time they received the respect law abiding citizens are due.

    Since the legislature, and the full list of governors, have failed miserably at reining in the cops it’s time to make a firearm, whether completely visible or merely hinted at under clothing, something one is not arrested for. We were willing to meet halfway on ths issue and told – by the actions of police – to go screw ourselves. Now we need to take the issue completely out of the hands of the armed government agents.

    Florida government, you had your chance and you blew it. Full open carry now.

  2. On March 31, 2021 at 10:41 am, Ned said:

    The comments at the link are priceless. Supportive of Michael Taylor, and calling out the “reporter” for being a government propaganda regurgitating hack.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Politics and was published March 29th, 2021 by Herschel Smith.

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